KSP Highway Safety Branch
Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780
KSP Highway Safety Branch News Release
New Booster Seat Law Goes Into Effect July 15, 2008
Date of News Release: 07/10/08
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) - Governor Steve Beshear signed into legislation a new child booster seat law that will go into effect July 15, 2008. Parents in Kentucky will be required to take new measures to protect their children in the car. Starting next week, if your child is under seven years of age and is between forty and fifty inches tall, he or she will have to ride in a booster seat. The new requirements are part of KRS 189.125, which sets forth guidelines for child safety seats, booster seats and seat belts.
Captain Tim Lucas, Commander of the KSP Highway Safety Branch advised that the new law will be phased in over the next year.
"On July 15th, law enforcement will begin issuing courtesy warnings to those who do not have their children in booster seats. Courtesy warnings will be issued through June 30, 2009. After that date, violators will be required to pay a fine of $30," said Lucas.
"Any person who has not been previously charged with a booster seat violation can have the charge dismissed by providing proof that they have acquired a booster seat for the child," added Lucas.
Four senators sponsored the booster seat bill and they included Tom Buford, Walter Blevins, Jr., Jerry Rhoads and Dorsey Ridley. KSP strongly supported this bill as it passed through the legislative process.
"More children die from motor vehicle crashes than from any single disease. More children in the United States are killed or crippled in car crashes than from any other cause of injury," said Lucas. "Our goal is to save lives - and this law will better protect the children of the Commonwealth."
Police will be able to judge whether you have the seats installed in your vehicle simply by looking at your car windows, and judging if your child is sitting high enough to see outside.
Sharon Rengers, R.N., works for the Children's Hospital Foundation Office of Child Advocacy at Kosair Children's Hospital and is also a Certified Passenger Safety (CPS) instructor. She has hundreds of KSP troopers and local law enforcement officers across the state in proper child seat installation and placement. More importantly, she has been a vocal advocate for improved child car seat legislation.
"The booster seat bill is a step in the right direction in making sure that children of all ages are protected while riding in vehicles," said Rengers. "We are happy that this legislation adds protective measures for older children not previously included in the child passenger safety laws."
Rengers offered some booster seat safety tips for parents:
- Your child should use a car seat with a harness for as long as possible, until at least age 4 following the weight/height limits of your seat.
- Use the back seat for children under age 13. It is safer with or without airbags. The center of the back seat is safest; however a child in a booster MUST have a lap/shoulder belt. NEVER use just a lap belt.
- If your car has no shoulder belts in the back seat, a different safety device can be used (vest or harnesses is available).
- Booster seats with shields are never recommended. Remove the shield and follow the manufacturer's directions.
- Always use your seat belt. Your child learns from what you do. Make sure everyone (grandparents, friends, older children) in the car buckles up.
For more information on vehicle passenger safety or to inquire about free fact sheets on a variety of health and safety subjects, call (502) 629-KIDS or 1-800-852-1770.